If you like crazy over the top amoral Telugu movies, this is for you! Personally, I DO like those movies. I’ll write a whole review below, and you should read it if you’ve never tried Telugu action before, but if you have, and you know what I mean by “amoral” and you will know if you enjoy it. Just go ahead and watch! Skip this review!
Years ago, post-Bahubali, I watched Bujjigaddu. And was charmed by the way the hero casually believes it is wrong to kill someone just for money, but okay if you need the money for a good reason. It’s good to support love marriages, and good to love your family, and bad to abuse your wife. Shoot outs, stealing, all kinds of crazed violence and lawless activity, that’s all totally fine. It’s not that it’s moral or immoral, it’s that “morality” is a silly thing to try to apply to it. This is a crazy world and abstract morality would just bring us down.
So refreshing!!!!! American action films tend to have this heavy moral layer to it, the hero has to give a big speech about the reasons he is doing all the hero things (America! Family! God! My Dog!), and the villain has to have some kind of big villain motivation (Hate! Vengeance! My Dog!). In Hindi films, it’s even deeper. Action films are where we get the complicated metaphorical stories about right and wrong and blah blah blah. Sacrifice for the greater good, complex villains with sympathetic backstories, it’s interesting to think about but it’s usually not very fun.
But the Telugu action films? SO FUN!!! Sure, some of them were deep and dark and twisted and stuff. But most of them had this gloss of “come on, you know it’s a movie, I know it’s a movie, let’s just have fun in this upside down lawless world”. It’s great! Like a vacation from real life where actions have consequences!
This movie has a gloss of being Deep and Important, the whole “part 1” in the title says that, along with the mud spattered characters. Looks like KGF or something. But once you start watching it, you realize it is a good old silly amoral Telugu film. With very high production values.
Allu Arjun is my favorite hero for this kind of film. He has a way of performing his performances, like going slightly too far so that you know that he knows that you know this is all an act. I truly don’t think another hero could have done this film as well, with that little wink and a nod and never breaking character quite all the way. Not to mention that he is a great dancer and throws himself all the way into fight scenes too.
So yeah, it’s a fun movie! In a very anarchistic way where nothing matters. Don’t be turned off by the Serious posters. And also, don’t expect a moral universe, accept that everything is going to be very grey and actions have few consequences.